Bluetooth-LE-Spam: What is it and how to protect yourself from it

Bluetooth-LE-Spam is a new Android app that can spam other Android devices with fake Bluetooth connection requests, rendering them almost unusable. The app was inspired by Flipper Zero, a device that can bombard iPhone, Android, and Windows users with non-stop Bluetooth pop-ups.

How does Bluetooth-LE-Spam work?

Bluetooth-LE-Spam works by broadcasting fake Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connections impersonating various devices, such as earbuds, smart keys, and RFID tags. When a nearby Android phone receives these fake signals, it tries to connect to them using the Fast Pair technology, which allows seamless pairing of Bluetooth devices without manually configuring them from the settings.

However, since the fake signals are not from real devices, the connection attempts fail and the phone gets flooded with pop-up notifications, which can be very annoying and distracting for the user. The app can also send fake Bluetooth requests to Windows devices that support the Swift Pair service, which is similar to Fast Pair.

The app allows the user to adjust the transmission power and the interval of the fake signals, which can range from one second to 10 minutes.

What are the risks of Bluetooth-LE-Spam?

Bluetooth-LE-Spam is not a malicious app per se, as it does not steal any data or cause any permanent damage to the target devices. However, it can be used for pranks, harassment, or disruption purposes, especially in crowded places where there are many Bluetooth devices around.

The app can also interfere with the normal functioning of Bluetooth peripherals, such as a mouse, keyboard, and headphones, as they may become unresponsive or disconnected when the app is spamming fake requests. Moreover, the app can drain the battery of both the sender and the receiver devices, as Bluetooth is a power-hungry feature.

How to protect yourself from Bluetooth-LE-Spam?

The best way to protect yourself from Bluetooth-LE-Spam is to turn off the Fast Pair and Swift Pair features on your Android and Windows devices, respectively.

You can do this by going to the settings app and navigating to the Google and Nearby Share options on Android. Go to Settings > Google > Devices & sharing > Devices > Disable “Scan for nearby devices”.

On Windows, go to Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Devices > Disable “Show notifications to connect using Swift Pair”.

Alternatively, you can also turn off Bluetooth completely when you are not using it, which can also save your battery life and prevent other potential Bluetooth attacks.

Image: Unsplash

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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